The headquarters campus of Microsoft, maker of the Microsoft Exchange mail server, which has been the target of bug exploits. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Business operators continue to expose themselves to Microsoft Exchange exploits and other damaging attacks due to a lack of multi-factor authentication, access control, patch management and other essential network security elements that they view as costly inconveniences that slow down productivity.

The issue is so widespread, in fact, that a panel of experts who specialize in threat hunting, IT consulting and/or managed services for smaller businesses called for third-party partners to push for client contracts that authorize them to take decisive mitigation steps in critical situations without permission.

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